This isn't something uncommon, I'd be surprised if you could find a DBA that hasn't had to restore bits of data people have deleted. Possible ways to speed up the process might be more interesting reading for an article.
A few ways we recover data quickly when we need to ...
We run log shipping on our servers so there is usually a 5-15 minute lag between copying data between servers, if one of the DBAs delete some data by accident (rare but has happened before) you can grab it off the log shipping server before the transaction is played there. In theory if someone else in the business deleted data you could do this too but they would have to call pretty quick.
Another way we have of quickly restoring data is that we run a 24 hour old version of the database, each night we backup to various locations and then restore that data to a seperate server which is sometimes used for testing or running certain reports. If something is removed in the last day we can usually recover it from here.
Last option is going back to backups and every DBAs best friend is Litespeed or one of the other compressed backup solutions. Once our databases got past 50gb we found the possible downtime wasn't acceptable to the business (it took about 6 hours to get things back up and running) and now even 100gb databases can be restored in about an hour once you factor in copying it from remote servers etc
Another option is delete triggers, our ERP system uses them for auditing which can be handy from time to time but we haven't tried it on any of the other systems.